Walter ‘Wally’ Henry Trumbull died on December 11, 2021 at the age of 96 with his family at his home in Santa Monica. Born in Boston and raised in Weston, MA, he regularly returned to the east coast to visit him. He loved family and friends and his favorite places: Santa Monica, Marion, Mattapoisett, Mountain Lake, Maui, Rosarito Beach, Pietrasanta and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. It was a challenge keeping up with him! He always had a trip planned and someone to see.
He was passionate about the company (s) he founded and ran for over 57 years, Electro-Mech Components and Switch-Luz. They were his beloved other family. Wally leaves the maquiladora sector a legacy as a pioneer in the export industry in Mexico.
As a young man athlete, he played football and ice hockey for Middlesex and Harvard and later ice hockey for the University of Geneva. He was a good tennis player and taught the game to all of his children. He stayed fit until his death: “on and up”. In 2015 he was inducted into the Middlesex Athletic Hall of Fame.
Wally entered Harvard University in 1942. His studies were interrupted by his time as a United States Navy officer in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, Wally returned to Harvard and received his bachelor’s degree in 1946.
After returning from Geneva, he enrolled at the Harvard School of Business from 1947-1949. After graduating, he worked for the Gillette Company in Boston in the razor blade department. During this time he visited Gillette’s manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico and learned of the benefits of offshore manufacturing that he would later develop in Tijuana, Mexico.
Wally and Betsey had their three older children in Boston and moved to Santa Monica in 1956, where the three younger children were born. Both later commented that it was a big step into California, but ultimately a wise move. Wally worked at Gillette until the early 1960s and then went freelance with several startups: Transformer Engineers, Pendar Company and finally Electro-Mech and Switch-Luz.
His first wife Betsey died before him and he leaves behind six children: Lea Trumbull Ferris and her husband Bill and the children Ben, Willea and Jojo and their families; Hope Trumbull Woodhead and her husband George and the children Robert, Janet, Vern and Walt and their families; Margaret Trumbull Nash and her husband Michael; Robin Trumbull Tolan and her husband John and their children Liz, Jack and Maggie and their families; Terry Trumbull and his wife Valerie and their children Ginny and Hank; Coco Trumbull Mueller and her husband Kirk and their children Paige and Will and their families. He taught backgammon to ten great-grandchildren. He leaves behind his wife Helen (Lenkie) and their children Leigh, Mac (deceased), Eliza (deceased), Don, Peter and their families. He was a firm believer in education and came from a long line of educators. Instead of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Middlesex School in honor of Wally Trumbull ’42 (1400 Lowell Road, Concord, MA 01742; https://www.mxschool.edu/alumni/make-a-gift/) The celebration (n) of life are planned at a later date in both California and Massachusetts.
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